Vice To Stop Publishing On Site, Lay Off Hundreds Of Staff

The 900-person company says it will instead put "more emphasis on our social channels."

It’s a dark day in the digital news industry. Again.

In a stunning reversal of fortune for a media empire once valued at $5.7 billion, Vice Media told its approximately 900-person staff Thursday that it’s laying off several hundred of its employees and will cease publishing any content to, the company’s digital news site.

In his memo, CEO Bruce Dixon told employees that “it is no longer cost-effective for us to distribute our digital content the way we have done previously. Moving forward, we will look to partner with established media companies to distribute out digital content, including news, on their global platforms, as we fully transition to a studio model.”

Vice did not immediately return HuffPost’s request for comment on what a “studio model” entails, nor did it confirm whether all the layoffs would be consolidated to the staff.

Instead of publishing on the website, the company will instead put “more emphasis on our social channels as we accelerate our discussions with partners to take out content to where it will be viewed most broadly,” Dixon said, adding that impacted employees will be notified of their dismissals early next week.

Vice, a news outlet lauded for its edgy, bold and immersive storytelling, is now the latest casualty of a media industry weathering one of its grimmest economic climates in recent history. News outlets have struggled to make money amid a troubled digital advertising market.

Since its value peaked in 2017, Vice has entered a period of financial downfall and nearly annual layoffs. A year ago, Vice began looking for a buyer and ultimately declared bankruptcy. The lenders who bought the company out of bankruptcy decided on Thursday’s cuts, The New York Times reported.

The latest cuts will leave hundreds of journalists scrambling for media jobs that are simply disappearing.

This past few months have seen the demise of Sports Illustrated, Pitchfork, and news startup The Messenger. Last year, BuzzFeed (HuffPost’s parent company) shuttered its Pulitzer-winning news division, BuzzFeed News, and on Wednesday, the company announced it was selling Complex to Ntwrk, an e-commerce platform, just a few years after acquiring it. The Intercept and Now This both announced layoffs in the past week, with the latter gutting 50% of its staff.

Legacy media hasn’t been immune the industry’s woes either. The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post have all made deep cuts to staff in recent months.

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